Monday, September 19, 2011

Periodic Table of Elements DIY

The first few posts on Simply Cosy will have tutorials, but not with many "in the making" photos. These crafts happened before the blog existed so naturally I wasn't inclined to show pictures of the middle of projects. Here's why- I'm messy. I can admit it.  Maybe I couldn't admit it before right now but craft blogs are therapeutic so whew. It feels good to get that off of my chest. Either way, you'll have to read if you want to know how to do these and if you're anything like me, you probably have stopped reading already. Oh well. 

My sister married a nerd. Listen, no offense to him, but he's a chemist. That, also, isn't a joke. That's his actual profession. I guess I'm allowed to say it since my husband is an aspiring CPA. Anyway, we were at a mall together when she saw this in the window of Land of Nod: 

And as she stood and marveled long enough to miss her one and only child ripping up the display at the Apple store, and subsequently trying to steal what he broke, I had an idea. That periodic table was 120 dollars. I think that it's cute and all, but who in their right mind would pay 120 dollars for a poster that will inevitably doom your child to nerdom? Not I. But it got me to thinking about a special gift for my melon headed nephew. 

I love the look of the raw canvas, so I bought some canvas at a local art supply store. It was just the cheapest primed and loose canvas- not stretched, just a plain old piece of canvas. Then I got out my trusty roll of twine, my Faber-Castell black brush tipped marker, and an assortment of boy-ish colors. These were the best I've found for drawing on the canvas- they are copic stretch brush tipped markers- I purchased them at Dick Blick. They aren't cheap but they are amazing! 

I also got two pieces of lumber from Home Depot, something like 3/4 x 1. I think I found them in the "trim" section for window trim. You'll also need wood glue and a staple gun. And, I found, a periodic table app on your phone (free) makes it a whole lot easier. 

And with a little TLC and time, you can make your own Periodic Table for all of your nerdy, melon headed loved ones! 

 I actually drew on the side of the canvas that wasn't primed. What can I say? I'm a rebel without a cause. Except that my cause was that the primed side was bright white and looked bad. I drew the periodic table first in pencil then traced it with marker. It was actually quite easy to make sure the lines were straight since the canvas has natural lines. I did everything in black marker and then traced over that with the color coding. (Did I mention that my sister said that her husband would disapprove of the Land of Nod version because it wasn't color coded? It's hard to be the only cool person in a family of's cool to have a craft blog, right?) 

After the periodic table was all done, I glued the wood (after I stained it) with wood glue, and stapled the twine to the back of the top wood piece. I then stapled the canvas every few inches on the back of each piece of wood to make sure it would stay nice and strong from the years of use I'm sure it will get.

I'm sorry there aren't more pictures but I think y'all can do it! (yeah, I'm saying y'all now, so deal with it). 

I hope that someone else gives this a try, and send pictures if you do! I'd love to post them :) 


  1. I can testify to the fact that this craft is amazing! While it might take Marin a little longer to truly appreciate it (he kept looking in the box for bags of sugary cereal like one of his grandmas usually sends him), Micah loved it from the moment he saw it. I'm pretty sure he would hang it in our room or the living room if it didn't say, "Marin's Periodic Table of Elements."

  2. It is soooo amazing!

    Briasson, aka Mr. Patterns, must have loved it too!

    Why, oh, why couldn't you have admitted you are messy in high school...

  3. LOVE IT> You are a true bloggerrr now. Nice pictures!

  4. Is a true bloggerrr something like a riot grrrrl?

  5. Welcome to the world of Blogging! Your periodic table is amazing. I have bookmarked it for my son who will need this soon.

  6. Gah, so I'm married to a scientist (not joking)- and we're expecting a little boy later this year. My husband told me he'd like a periodic table hanging in his room. I wasn't thrilled at the idea, but I really love this. And there's no way I'm paying $120 for one. Thank you for sharing!!!

  7. Awww, my family's last name is Marin, and I love this idea! I shall attempt to make one for my son's room or for our office!

  8. Awww, my family's last name is Marin, and I love this idea! I shall attempt to make one for my son's room or for our office!